A definition of witness.


Witness At Her Inquest

Henry Tabram, the estranged husband of Martha Tabram, was the first witness to be called on the final day of the inquest into her death, on the afternoon of Thursday, 23rd August, 1888.

The East London Observer, published his inquest testimony on Saturday, 25th August, 1888:-

The first witness called was Henry Tabram - a sallow-complexioned man with iron grey hair and wearing a moustache and imperial of the same colour, together with a dark blue serge coat, living at 6, River Terrace, East Greenwich, and described as a foreman packer at a furniture repository.

He said:-

"I identified the body as my wife last Tuesday week. Her Christian name was Martha" - proceeded the witness, beginning to show signs of deep emotion - "and her age was between 39 and 40.

I last saw her alive about eighteen months ago in the Whitechapel Road, when, as far as I could judge, she appeared to be in her usual state of health.

I have been separated from her for thirteen years since last March. The separation was not mutual, but I went before a magistrate in answer to a summons which she had taken out against me at the police court, and I then refused to live with her. I allowed her, when we separated, twelve shillings per week for some time, but I left that off ten years ago on account of her conduct, she continually accosting me in the streets and asking me for money.

Since that time, however, I allowed her half-a-crown per week regularly, because I found out she was living with a man, and I did not think it my place to support her then.

She had been living with that man on and off for the last ten years; and all events he is here today, and will speak with more certainty than I can on that point.

I don't know that she ever followed any occupation.

I first heard of her death last Monday week, when I saw the name being described in the paper as being "Tabram".

I afterwards identified the body."

Source: East London Observer, Saturday, 25th August, 1888.